Violet’s Wish for You

September 29th, 2010

Violet wants you … to whistle while you work. (There is no off button on this child!)


September 14th, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,

I’m feeling too out of touch with you guys, and I can’t seem to find a good time to call or message anyone. I’m sorry about that. It seems our window of East-coast-evening-meets-that-beginning-of-Violet’s-nap-time is out of whack, especially with Violet’s refusing to nap a lot of days now, and making calls with her awake? Yeah, that’s just not working. So please know you’re on my mind, and I am eager to know what’s new in your lives. E-mail me if you get time, and I will keep trying to call you. Things may improve as we settle back into a schedule here with our fall activities and with staying HOME.

Summer was a bit of a blur. I haven’t even printed any photos from our trips, and I usually have those in albums and frames by now. Life is challenging with this phase in Vibble’s toddler career. She stages a protest about anything and everything. These protests range from sit-ins, to scream-ins, to running away and going missing in a department store for long enough to take several years off of the end of my life. I feel like I have eight kids, and their name is Violet. She is suddenly into princesses (or, as she calls them, “pinches”) in a scary huge way. The demands for us to set up looping “pinches” bits on Youtube have reached a frightening level of violence here. Enough that I got on yesterday and overnighted Snow White on DVD. It was THAT BAD. Here’s hoping it works. I certainly can’t watch anymore Mary Poppins (also a “pinches” around here), or you will be visiting me in a padded cell where I am rocking back and forth in the corner singing Chim-Chimeny to myself.

Violet continues to amaze us with her personality. She is incredibly secure and confident. She has the typical toddler magic-energy but is exceptionally physical and agile. She is an adventurer, a fearless explorer, a TOUGH little TOUGHIE. She’s been spending a lot of time with her friend Greta lately, and since she and Greta were born the same week, comparisons are fascinating. Greta is advanced in her speech and logic. Violet … not so much. Violet talks when Violet wants to talk. And when she doesn’t? It’s “Ef you, I’m busy climbing this bookshelf to perform some stunt whereby I dive to this chair and then to the TV to turn it back on.” Greta is sensitive, in a way that will be both her greatest asset and, I think, her biggest challenge in life. Violet, like I said, is a tough little toughie. A bubbling burn the size of a quarter on her elbow from the fireplace in the rental condo? Wah-wah for two minutes and it is never mentioned again. A fall out of a chair onto her head? Whatevs. My friend has goldfish crackers and I want some? Suck it, “Friend,” I’m taking these, and here’s a shove, too. (You can imagine the Violet-and-Greta relationship requires a lot of supervision. If you play Mario, we liken Greta to Luigi, and Violet to Wario.) If sensitivity will be Greta’s asset and challenge, this toughness will be Violet’s. Because who wants to be friends with Wario? Only someone as sweet as Greta. But, too, such a tough girl is unstoppable.

Incidentally, Greta’s initials are GBL, so, in line with our VBL=Vibble formula, we call her Gibble. Or, when they are together, the Two Ibbles. Violet’s other friends include Jude (a darling boy who keeps track of his pals like a shepherd), Emme (who has a lot of fire herself), Avery (Run, run, RUN!), Brienna (who gives Violet a run for her money in the ring), Chelan (a sweetheart), and Christopher, who hides keys and knows more sign-language than I know English. All of these kids have a lot of soul. No lie. We know some extremely special kids right now.

In addition to “pinches,” here are a few quick translations from the Vibble lexicon at present:
- “I want Beep-Beep” — This means she wants to watch Road Runner.
- “I want Hey Hey” — This means she wants to watch Fat Albert. (She loves Fat Albert.)
- “I want Momide” — This means she wants to watch Madeline.
- “I want Bib-Boo” — This means she wants to watch Cinderella.

Yeah, that’s what most of her requests are like. We have to keep a serious eye on how much screen-time she gets in each day. If she had her way, she would watch TV without eating or sleeping or playing or ever putting on pants. (Well, pants in general are unpopular.) But what she really needs is high-impact physical activity every day, or else she gets punchy. Too much brain-centric occupation stresses her out, and even art projects don’t absorb her focus for long—unless they too become physically focused (textures are awesome, and painting on paper is SO LAST SEASON, the paints really do look better on her face). She is a very tangibility-centered person; always wants to touch people (sorry, guy-in-front-of-us-on-the-bus!) and stop in the middle of the intersection to feel the texture of the road. This is either a quirk or serious OCD, but it makes for very sweet cuddle times, because she loves to caress an arm while she snuggles.

She just started gymnastics at a place that has a preschool associated with it, and the plan is, once she gets comfortable there after enough mommy-and-me gymnastics (many months down the road, mind you), we try some school. Since it’s a program with a very physical outlet attached to it, I think it might be just the right fit for our little wackadoo.

Sorry if I’m all over the map with this post. I’m jacked-up on migraine medicine and trying to type out as much as I can before the Pinches wakes up and starts making demands. What else do I need to fill you in on …

We had a really nice week in lovely Tahoe with Steve’s mother and Auggie. I took my leave for a few days to go to Burning Man, which was an escape into a world of fun and creativity for me. It was way too hard to be off the grid, though, without my little munchkin, so I cut it half a day short. Somehow it gets harder and harder to be apart from her, as it seems to get easier and easier for HER to be apart from ME. I am only more attached, as she is more and more independent. Who invented this ratio? How bad is it going to get? (Mom, I know you’ll have an answer for that—one that makes the Internet cry!) But Burning Man was wonderful, and I look forward to going back, perhaps for a longer stay sometime. And for those of you who know Burning Man, no, I didn’t do anything wildly out of character for me. It was fun enough to have a mug of wine and wear a cowgirl hat and prom dress while climbing a statue or riding my bike toward the lasers.

I haven’t been doing much writing, but I do feel creative. It turns out parenting is a pretty creative endeavor, and I am lucky to have made some VERY creative mom-friends here. Together with my friends from grad school, friends through Steve, and others, I feel surrounded by creative people these days, and it’s inspiring. You should see what I made out of Play-Do the other day!

Speaking of Stevel, he is doing really well on a lot of fronts. A bit overworked, but I’m so proud of his progress on his iPhone apps and with the software he works on at Sony, which is about to be used at a number of effects houses. This is a huge deal, and he, with his team, has bent over backwards and turned his brain inside-out to make it a reality. He’s truly a marvel of a man! And all of this while being the sweetest, most patient, most adoring dad—it’s clear Violet feels very safe with him, very loved … and completely in charge. “Dad, come on …” she says as she drags him to the fridge for a half-hour session of I-can’t-decide-what-I-want-from-this-fridge or insists he play “My-oh” (Mario) to entertain her (as long as he doesn’t start to die [bleep bleep bleep], in which case she—”Oh no! Oh no!”—gets a little freaked out).

I can’t think of anything else to report just now. It was a wonderful summer, and I loved connecting with friends and family and enjoyed the many adventures. And now I’m looking forward to a few months of ho-hum routine. Ahhh.

Oh, and P.S. If you haven’t seen “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” I finally got around to watching it, and it’s my new favorite movie. Hot box.

P.S.S. Some photos of all of this